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How to Find Writer-Market-Fit

Dec 03, 2023

How to Find Writer-Market-Fit

Eve Arnold

Building a brand on the internet is about consistency. It’s rule number 1. If you want to build something, something that will eventually pay you, you must sign yourself up for the long haul.

However, it’s not just about that. We’ve spoken about the power of iterating content and building an ‘Evolution of Content’, but today I want to talk to you about another piece of the puzzle.

It’s what I call the ‘Writer-Market-Fit’. It’s how you find the stuff that your audience wants to see but (critically) what you want to write about.

Step 1: Recognize the trap of constant iteration

Iterating is a great method for constantly improving but it has one downside.

If you only listen to what other people want, you’ll end up creating for them and not for you, destroying your joy for writing in the process. The very thing that you need if you’re going to be consistent.

I’ll give you an example, back in 2021, an article of mine went viral. I mean people from all over the world contacted me kinda viral. It went so viral, that I thought Medium stats were broken.

254,000 views on one article.

The article: 6 Things This Letter From a Jehovah’s Witness Taught Me About Capturing Attention

I was early into my writing career and I was blown away by the response. But here’s the thing, the article was fun to write but I didn’t want to write all my articles like that.

I could have easily gone down the road of “What ‘x’ taught me about ‘y’” but I didn’t want to write that way. I wanted to write about the stuff I liked to write about.

So I resisted. And I’m so glad I did.

Step 2: Write 100 pieces of content

This is a bitter pill to swallow but you (most likely) won’t be any good at writing until you’ve written 100 pieces of content.

I know it sounds a lot, and it is, but you need the reps to understand how to write. For those 100 reps, I recommend writing about:

  • Things you’ve learned at work
  • Ideas that have changed your thinking
  • Moments in your life that have stuck with you

Don’t worry about the views, worry about getting the reps in and learning how to write. But also keeping a keen eye on what you like to write about. In this early stage, it’s critical you follow your curiosity and write about the stuff you enjoy writing about.

Then we get onto step 3.

Step 3: Me vs. audience

Writing on the internet is a loooooooong game.

If you don’t actually enjoy what you’re writing about, you’ll likely give up before you get good. Or worse, you’ll end up where you want to be but be miserable because you write about stuff you don’t care about.

It’s the worst of both worlds.

The best scenario is to go slow writing about the stuff you love. That way, you’ll happily play the long game (because you love the work) and once you get to where you want to be, you’ll get paid to do something you love.

Win-win.

So how do you find it? Well, you ask yourself (after 100 pieces of content):

  • What do I love to write about?
  • When do I get lost in my work?
  • What could I write about all day?

And you balance that with your audience’s wants, to figure out that, ask yourself:

  • What resonates most with my audience?
  • What do people tend to comment on?
  • What ideas do people find interesting?

Where those two worlds intersect is where you want to exist. Between your joy and your usefulness to the world. If you only write about the stuff you like, you might accidentally fall into the trap of selfish writing which will be bad for growth. But if you only write for your audience you’ll be at the mercy of them.

You want to find the space that exists between the two. That’s how you find your writer-market-fit.

Step 4: Refine and keep asking

If I had stuck to my “what ‘x’ taught me about ‘y’” format I would have never stumbled across what I’m really passionate about and never would have written this article:

Instead, I would have been stuck regurgitating stuff I didn’t care much about but my audience told me they liked.

Remember it’s a balancing act. Yes review your stats, read your comments, and listen to your audience. But don’t let that be the only light that guides you.

Listen to yourself. Figure out what you love to write about, what you are passionate about, and what lights you up.

The aim is to find a balance between the two and keep asking questions. You won’t find it and then stay in that space forever, you’ll keep writing, keep evolving, and keep developing your writing.

Don’t fall into the trap

Writing is a long game.

It’s sort of why I love it so much. It’s a lifetime commitment. It’s painfully slow something but the rewards, the rewards are like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

It’s why I’m such an advocate of keeping your day job. Take the pressure off, allow yourself to play the long game, and don’t fall into the trap of only writing for your audience.

This writing thing is about you too. It’s about your expression, your thoughts, and your words to the world.

You find your writer-market-fit by existing in the space between your audience’s wants and yours. Don’t forget that consistency is a big part of it, you need to optimize for your enjoyment, especially in the beginning.

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